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State driver card databases prove valuable to the FBI, ICE to face recognition searches: report

The federal authorities have accessed millions of Americans photos without their consent or approval from Congress by tapping the state driver's license databases and becoming a "unprecedented surveillance infrastructure" that some critics see as an "ask-permission-later "" system reported the Washington Post on Sunday.

The agencies that allegedly use the databases include the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Most of the images on the DMV are of citizens never charged with a crime and not subject to study.

"It's really a surveillance first, questionnaire-later system," Jake Laperruque, senior adviser in a government watchdog, told the paper. He said the FBI alone "does 4,000 searches every month and many go through state DMVs. "

ICE did not respond immediately to an email from Fox News late on Sunday, a spokesman for an agency told the paper that its "Investigative techniques are generally considered law enforcement sensitive."

The FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News, but referred the paper to last month's testimony of a top official official who called face recognition critical to "preserve our security."

Post's exclusive report quoted internal documents obtained by a public record request from Georgetown Law researchers. The report, which quoted a memorandum of government office last month, also said that since 201

1, the FBI has logged 390,000 facial recognition searches in various departments, including the DMV.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Told the paper in an email that access to this information by law enforcement often occurs in "shadows" and without consent.

The report said 21 states allow practice while cities like San Francisco have banned public bodies from the procedure.

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